DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: Scott Michael Cavagan | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Scott Michael Cavagan may be known to some as singer with defunct rockers Laconia, but he Durham-based songwriter’s new solo material is pretty far removed from the heaviness of his previous band. He releases his debut solo EP Neon Lights via Iniquity Records on 30th November.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?
My name is Scott Michael Cavagan, I am from Chester Le Street, County Durham and I used to sing for local band Laconia and briefly for a band called Dryll.

What inspired you to first start making music?
When I was young I used to sit and play my mam’s old 7” singles and I can remember being blown away when I heard Help! – The Beatles for the first time and I would literally sit and learn every word, every harmony from every Beatles album. I think that must have been the main inspiration to want to sing and start my own band.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?
Musically, I’ve already mentioned The Beatles, when I formed my first band Oasis were literally the biggest band on the planet so it was really hard not to be influenced by that. In recent years Manic Street Preachers have had a huge influence on my music, I love everything about them. Another big influence for me was meeting Baz Warne before he joined The Stranglers, he was the first person I had ever met who had had a record deal and actually earned a living making music and just meeting up and talking about some of the things he had done musically was, and still is, very inspiring to me.

How would you describe your sound?
A recent review of my forthcoming EP said my songs have an ‘unapologetically pop-filled sense of drive’ which I thought hit the nail on the head.

Where do you see yourself fitting into the local music scene?
I don’t know if I really do to be honest, I haven’t thought about it. This whole solo project has been more about self fulfillment than anything else, but I think my  music is diverse enough to fit right across the board and play with a host of different bands from different genres.

Tell us a bit about your live performances. What can we expect from a gig by you?
I saw The Ordinary Boys comeback gig at Pop Recs a year or two ago and it totally summed up what I love about watching live music. It was 45 minutes of pure energy, passion and fun. I’d love to think that came across in my live shows.

Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?
I have gig  on Saturday 5th December at Empty Shop HQ in  Durham with  Dennis; this will only be the second time I’ve played with a full band with my solo stuff, so I’m really looking forward to that and I’m hoping to have an in store gig soon to launch my EP Neon Lights.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as a solo performer?
I have genuinely loved the process of writing and recording my current EP, I always hated the thought of being a solo performer but I’ve really enjoyed watching my songs transform from an original idea to the final product in the studio. I had pretty much quit music a few years ago so releasing my EP has been an achievement in itself.

Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?
With this project no, in my old band we wanted to get as far as we could, but now that pressure has gone it’s a much more fulfilling experience. I had put too much pressure on myself to keep everything going back then instead of enjoying it as much as I should. The only challenge now is finding the time to write and record new music.

What else have you got planned for the future?
Again, with my previous band the whole intention was to get as far as we possibly could but this project couldn’t be further from that, but  still have a little bucket list of things I still want to do musically; venues I’d like to play, bands I’d like to play with and musicians I’d like to collaborate with. The rest of the year I will keep promoting my EP and I plan to release a single early next year which I’m hoping will feature some of my favourite musicians.

Scott Michael Cavagan plays Durham’s Empty Shop on Saturday 5th December.

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